This study examined the relationship between self-efficacy, exercise intensity, and feeling states in a sedentary population during and following an acute bout of exercise. Sixty sedentary participants were randomly assigned to either a moderate-intensity (45-50% age predicted Heart Rate Reserve; HRR), high-intensity exercise (70-75% HRR) group, or a no-exercise attention control group. Participants in both exercise groups experienced changes in feeling states across the course of the exercise bout. The moderate-intensity group reported more positive and fewer negative feeling states both during and after exercise than the high-intensity group. Participants in both exercise conditions were significantly more positively engaged than the attention-control group postexercise. Consistent with social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986, 1997), the reciprocal determined relationship between self-efficacy and feeling states was found to be strongest in the high intensity exercise condition.
Darren C. Treasure is with Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Department of Health, Recreation & Physical Education, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1126. David M. Newbery is with the Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Newman College of Higher Education, Birmingham B32 3NT, United Kingdom.